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Author: Subject: Solar power, Feed in tarifs etc.
russbost

posted on 31/8/11 at 07:22 AM Reply With Quote
Solar power, Feed in tarifs etc.

So has anyone on here done it? I know it's not exactly locost, & you can't DIY as it has to be an approved installer blah blah blah, but IF the figures are anything like believeable then it would appear to be a no-brainer, even on pessimistic figures it would pay back in around 10 years & you'd then be making 10% a year plus saving on electricity bills (which if recent price rises are anything to go by are going to go up by a lot more than the 3% pa which they use in their calcs).

Add in an electric vehicle to use some of that power & things could look even better!

Any experience/comments??





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mangogrooveworkshop

posted on 31/8/11 at 07:42 AM Reply With Quote
Im looking at doing the training shortly so you need not worry about the install bit.
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splitrivet

posted on 31/8/11 at 08:02 AM Reply With Quote
Done work for two companies who supply and fit it and they both seem to be expanding big time. Talking to one of the owners its better than money in the bank, you need a south facing roof for it to be really effective apparently.
Cheers,
Bob





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McLannahan

posted on 31/8/11 at 08:13 AM Reply With Quote
I don't know why but I'm a little cautious about it? It seems like everyone is jumping on the band wagon with it and that to me the bubble must burst at some point?

I also don't see how the future governments have to guarantee the returns too - if they decide to lower the returns or stop them - where do we all stand?

I may be getting confused by it all but it all seems a bit too good to be true - someone's got to be loosing money either now or soon?

My step father in law was telling me that a company have offered to fit his for free - no cost to him at all. The only way I can see this working for them is either a massive government backhander or they will be creaming off some of the money that should be going back from the feed to the grid?

Grumpy Michael






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hughpinder

posted on 31/8/11 at 09:08 AM Reply With Quote
One of the chaps I work with has just agreed to have some fitted.
The company came and surveyed his roof and offered the choice of:
1. they pay for it and fit it and get the money from what it generates - he doesnt pay at all for electricity, OR
2. He pays 8K and gets the money from the feed in tarrif, which should pay his electric and a bit.

I believe the deals are so good as the electric generating companies are forced to produce more and more 'green' electricity. If they pay to fit it to your roof, and give you free electricity, they still increase the % they generate by green means, and should get more electricity back than you use. It works out cheaper to meet their quotas this way than to buy or lease land/roof space and then pay to put the panels on that anyway, and keep all the electricity. They get the 40 odd p per unit for the green power, but still generate most from nuclear at 7p or gas and coal at 8 or 9p/unit.

Regards
Hugh

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matt_gsxr

posted on 31/8/11 at 09:18 AM Reply With Quote
If the devices work for 25years (as they claim) and the government pay out for the long periods that are described, and you don't mind it on your house, then a 4kW panel gets the highest feed-in tariff and if you live somewhere sunny it should all be good.

I think the government will probably payout for the periods they claim, as the cost will just be put onto everyone's electricity bill (the explanation for the expected 40% increase in electricity costs).

My concern is what happens when the devices break down after 5 years before you have got to the point where they have paid back. The firms fitting them would then all go under (as everything that they have installed will break in a similar timeframe) and you have nothing but an ugly lump on your roof.

Its easy to say that these devices "should" last for 25 years, but none of it is proven. We considered it for our school and the view was that the panel prices were coming down faster than 10% per year. The only downside is that the feed-in tariff will probably decrease year on year.

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MikeRJ

posted on 31/8/11 at 09:43 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by matt_gsxr
Its easy to say that these devices "should" last for 25 years, but none of it is proven.


That is the bottom line. The panels degrade all the time they are exposed to sun, so a 4kW system when new may be rather less after 10 years, let alone 25.

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David Jenkins

posted on 31/8/11 at 10:00 AM Reply With Quote
I'm sure I read recently that the "meter" that goes between the panels and the national grid has to be replaced every 10 to 15 years (as do your ordinary gas and electric ones) - this is to make sure that they stay in calibration.

Who will be paying for that? Probably the householder.

[Edited on 31/8/11 by David Jenkins]





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ReMan

posted on 31/8/11 at 10:05 AM Reply With Quote
Interesting thred.
I get more leaflets on this than I get charity bags throuh the door now!
(But at least the charity bags make good bin liners)

I'm interested, but uber-cautious on this





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big-vee-twin

posted on 31/8/11 at 10:14 AM Reply With Quote
The companies that put it in for free take the feed in tarriff and you sign it over to them for the 25 year period.

You get the saving in energy i.e. slightly lower bills.

The feed in tarrif scheme is a 5 year scheme and we are in year 2, the tariff reduces every year during the five year period but once your on the scheme its fixed for 25 years and also increases with the RPI.

Personally i think all these companies that have spring up will disapear in 3 years time when the scheme ends - can't see the government continuing it.

There's also the renewable heat initiative which works the same way but for Solar Thermal (Water) and Biomass Boilers etc.

In fairness we design many systems and they do stack up and you get a better return on your money than the bank, however once the panels are on your roof(and no money in the bank) if you need some emergency cash you cant take one down and sell it!!





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afj

posted on 31/8/11 at 10:40 AM Reply With Quote
i looked into it and the little bit that i was worried about was the inverter that they fit in your loft/outbuilding so i read they can sometimes only last 5-6 years at a cost of near 2000 fitted for one that can handle a 4kw system not sure how true that is though as its just whats on the net. the other part was as said above what happens in 3-4 years if another party is in and they cancel the FITS then you have a 10k system to save you 100 per year unless you retro fit a bank of batterys so you can use the energy gathered from the day at nightime when most of us are at home





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russbost

posted on 31/8/11 at 11:12 AM Reply With Quote
It's all guaranteed for 10 years inc the inverter/meter etc - insurance backed so you're still covered if company goes belly up. The actual panels are guaranteed by the manufacturers (people like Sanyo, Suntech, Samsung) on a sliding scale of efficiency, but apparently they are supposed to be still 80% efficient after 25 years & if not they'll replace them! Believe it when it happens!

I think it's highly unlikely that future governments would interefere with the tarifs that you're already locked into (that's why it needs to be done b4 next April as tarif will then be reviewed & will defo go lower) as it's all "green" technology there would be a huge media frenzy (possibly even a Furore!)

Their figures are based on an increase in electricity prices of just 3% a year which seems very low given recent rises. As I understand it the money for the FIT doesn't come from the government, but from the electricity companies, which will surely push prices higher, but then I'd much rather be the bloke with a 4kW installation on his roof than the one without one if that happens!

What I'd really like to see are real world figures from someone who's already got an installation in place, preferably not an ideal installation, ie not facing due South on the South coast! The main thing that worries me is that if something sounds too good to be true it usually is!

Any further info much welcomed!





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Strontium Dog

posted on 31/8/11 at 11:40 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mangogrooveworkshop
Im looking at doing the training shortly so you need not worry about the install bit.


Unless you are going to do a lot of installs you might be better off doing them on a building notice (if you can do that were you are). Ive done a couple and they are a doddle to do. The only extra kit you need is a light meter as you need to take a reading and work out how much power you are getting for a given light level. All very easy! I just phoned the company that supplied all the equipment and they guided me through filling in the forms, everything else is general sparky type work unless you are installing the frames etc. Even then it's not hard, a trained monkey could do it!





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MikeR

posted on 31/8/11 at 11:51 AM Reply With Quote
when this was asked last time I repeated what I'd heard on Radio 4.

When this scheme was first introduced there was an almighty issue with it. When you sign over your roof to the solar panel company try then getting a mortgage on the house. You no longer own part of it. This is fine for now whilst you own your house - but if this bit isn't resovled try getting someone to buy your house for its market value when you come to sell.

Please check it out - hopefully it is resolved (and if it is post here so we all know).

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dinosaurjuice

posted on 31/8/11 at 11:53 AM Reply With Quote
by doing this you are also giving money to compaies who develop/manufacture solar panels. Which is surely a good thing for product development etc.
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Stott

posted on 31/8/11 at 11:58 AM Reply With Quote
I read about this the other day here:

LINK

Might be worth you browsing through it

hth
Stott

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jossey

posted on 31/8/11 at 12:49 PM Reply With Quote
i did it on my last house. Was ok. cost 12k to get installed and i got 800 per year back in "grants" based on feed in amount.

if you work from home or have family at home during day its not worth buying. if thats the case and you have a south facing roof then get the sposored ones. they give you the saving in electric and they get the 800 per year for 25 years. if your at home during the day you wont feed anything or very little so you will just get a 200-300 saving per year in electric.....





Thanks



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mangogrooveworkshop

posted on 31/8/11 at 12:52 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Strontium Dog
quote:
Originally posted by mangogrooveworkshop
Im looking at doing the training shortly so you need not worry about the install bit.


Unless you are going to do a lot of installs you might be better off doing them on a building notice (if you can do that were you are). Ive done a couple and they are a doddle to do. The only extra kit you need is a light meter as you need to take a reading and work out how much power you are getting for a given light level. All very easy! I just phoned the company that supplied all the equipment and they guided me through filling in the forms, everything else is general sparky type work unless you are installing the frames etc. Even then it's not hard, a trained monkey could do it!



Hanging the panels aint the big deal its dealing with the inverters and if fitted the battery pack that Im specialist in.

I for see a lot of repairs and trouble shooting having to be done after the cowboys have creamed off the subsidies.

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russbost

posted on 31/8/11 at 01:30 PM Reply With Quote
"if your at home during the day you wont feed anything or very little so you will just get a 200-300 saving per year in electric..... "

Apparently that's not how it works - I made the same mistake & was told that you get paid for what you generate whether you use it or whether it is fed back to the grid - if you use it you get paid an EXTRA 3p per unit you use, so it actually makes sense to try & use things like washing m/c, tumble drier, dishwasher etc DURING THE DAY whilst you are generating power - seems really odd to me, but then the whole scheme appears to be absolutely barking - there's no logic to any of it!!!





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afj

posted on 31/8/11 at 02:13 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jossey
i did it on my last house. Was ok. cost 12k to get installed and i got 800 per year back in "grants" based on feed in amount.

if you work from home or have family at home during day its not worth buying. if thats the case and you have a south facing roof then get the sposored ones. they give you the saving in electric and they get the 800 per year for 25 years. if your at home during the day you wont feed anything or very little so you will just get a 200-300 saving per year in electric.....


as russ says you get 41p odd for generating each kw and an extra 3p per kw if its exported back to the grid so you are best trying to use the energy during the day (sunny ones) you get paid for the 'generating' part as you are now a micro energy producer





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designer

posted on 31/8/11 at 02:35 PM Reply With Quote
I would not want to be stuck in a house for the next ten years.
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jossey

posted on 31/8/11 at 02:43 PM Reply With Quote
true guys. but most houses wont deliver enough energy from small solar systems to get the 800 back. MAX 800 that is.

even with the extra 3p i noticed i would have struggled.

i was told i would create around 1700 kwh which would give me the 44p per kwh so (748.... but in reality the 2 kw SYSTEM created around 870 in the year. perfect south facing......

as its used during the day it created 382.80 of savings. of which much of which wouldnt cover the maintenance cost of the system (280 per year plus cleaning 50)

so a huge saving of ...... DRUM ROLL....... 52.80.

For the cost of 12k installed and running.

as the price of solar systems have come down to around 9k for a 2.5-3kw system you should be able to make the saving and hit the benefits of the solar energy.

3kw system should make 2550 KWH's @ 44p 1122.00

so you should get your 800 max grant....

over 25 years would be 20k

but take into account the cleaning which is recommended and servicing (removing lenses and cleaning) thats about 300 per year.

i sold up and moved out after 1 year and made 40k on the house so all good.





Thanks



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jossey

posted on 31/8/11 at 02:44 PM Reply With Quote
ps you can move systems and if you sell the house on they can claim the grants so you get it back on the value of the house.....

hopefully.





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David Johnson

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big-vee-twin

posted on 31/8/11 at 04:04 PM Reply With Quote
PV panels have a rating expressed as kWp -kiloWatts peak, this is what the panel will produce in absolutely perfect conditions i.e. in a Labratory.

A standard panel is rated at aprox 230 watts peak, most panels are 12-13% efficient and therefore the output of a panel is 27.6 watts, this then goes through an invertor at about 98% efficient so the output is 27 watts per panel

This is why you need a massive area to have an array rated at 1000 watts.

You also need to know that the average sunlight falling in the UK equates to 750kwh/m/annum so you will never get the 1000 watts you get the 750 less the inefficiencies.

So for every 1KWp array you get, as a rule of thumb about 700watts.





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jossey

posted on 31/8/11 at 04:14 PM Reply With Quote
better explaination than the muppet who sold me my system lol





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